Return to Work & Vocational Rehabilitation

Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, Inc., through Brian W. Freeman, can help with best use of the voucher (SJDB). We advise clients to make the most of voucher opportunities through community college programs, sites that offer the best prices on computer equipment, etc. The State Department of Rehabilitation provides vocational rehabilitation services and job search links. Search engine for California Vocational and Technical Schools. For clients who have no idea what they want to do, What Color Is Your Parachute?, available at local libraries or Amazon is a huge help. It has been translated into at least 26 languages.

Vocational Rehabilitation was a valuable benefit extinguished by law at the end of 2008. The only retraining available (other than the rare employer sponsored plan) is through the State Department of Rehabilitation or through the inaptly named “supplemental job displacement benefit” (“SJDB”) or “voucher.” In this time of cutbacks and budget woes, there are limited offerings.

After eliminating vocational rehabilitation, the legislators provided for a “supplemental job displacement benefit (SJDB)” frequently referred to as a “voucher.” SB 863 has provided for easier access to the voucher for injuries on or after 1/1/13: See Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit

Remember that if you cannot return to your “regular or customary” work at the time of the injury, you may be entitled to State Disability Insurance through the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

While in the past we relied on the vocational rehabilitation benefit to either help the injured worker return to their employer, with reasonable accommodation, or to retrain for other employment, we now need to pursue rights under the Government Code sections that prevent discrimination against disabled workers. To learn more about these rights, visit these sites:

If you are not sure what to do with your life in the aftermath of a work injury, read this classic, now updated: What Color Is Your Parachute? 2023: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers